The HOTSYNC feature in my PDA (Palm Zire 31) is not functioning properly. I tried my best to make it work, but in vain. I called up the STAPLES store, and asked them for a replacement. Thank god! They have enough stock of these, and shall replace my defective PDA with a new one of same model.
December 01, 2004
November 27, 2004
Hey... this is not yet the end of my shopping spree. I made more purchases on ecost.com... There were few amazing limited time deals out there. Check them out~ I got few SD cards, and few surprising gifts for my parents and sis... Shall not reveal them now ~
November 26, 2004
Yes ! It is the time for Discounts and Deals... Thanksgiving is here ! Usually, people get reminded of the turkey as Thanksgiving is appoaching. But for me, its nothing but gadgets and electronics. I spent nearly a complete day (Thanksgiving day) in browsing the sale papers. I was kinda excited about the deals... made a big list of items to be purchased on the next day. I also made a few online purchases to capitalize on the free-shipping offer.
Today is the 'Day after Thanksgiving' ! I got up early morning at around 5:30am... had some quick breakfast and rushed to nearby STAPLES store. Thanks to Pulkit (my friend) for having given me a ride in his car. We reached there 10 min before the store opened, and found a small line in front of the store... Huh ! It was freezingly cold... Here, I purchased a PDA (palm zire 31), mp3 player, SD card, and a few silly things.
Then, we visited TARGET that is just a few feet away from Staples. Few non-electronic goods such as a fleece tshirt, 3-piece-luggage-set, some food stuff and gift items were purchased here. I also bought a digital photo frame on my way back to home. However, I will soon be returning this one... its way too expensive for what it serves. I infact found a replacement for this.
As soon as I reached home, I spoke to Rajesh anna about the plans to visit BEST-BUY, COMPUSA, OFFICE-DEPOT, etc... Well~ I did not buy much from these stores though. By the way, I purchased 2 digital cameras online (2 nikon-3200, and 1 canon SD200). These cams are really cool ones... I have done survey on the camera reviews for more than 2 weeks to find the best of the lot.
November 12, 2004
Happy diwali to all... Have lotz of fun with fireworks, food, and friends ! And not to forget... a visit to the temple. Hey... Play around with the following websites~
Today was just another week day for me. I had my usual routine, except for the wake-up call by my mom (from India), and wearing a new Tshirt in the morning. I had my usual headbath, morning prayer, afternoon classes, evening job at JO lab, and my usual browsing in the night. Hmmm! NO fireworks, NO treats & NO sweets. Well... Thats okay! Its just 1 more month before I will put my foot in Chennai (India).
November 08, 2004
Today is the day for me to decide & register my courses... those which I would (should) meditate upon in my next semester (Spring 2005). All my 3 courses are telecom associated ones... Well! Its the price that I have to pay for having taken all software development courses this semester. They are all interesting anyways ~
1. Advanced Computer Networks (ACN)
2. Algorithmic Aspects of Telecomm Networks (ATN)
3. Personal Communication Systems (PCS)
The first 2 in the list are my core courses... and they are indeed interesting. The 3rd one (PCS) is my elective, and I hope to learn some latest technologies in use at today's Telecom industry. Hmmm! Expecting a decent work-load in the next semester... Lets see ~
October 27, 2004
Hey... We (Grad students in US) can presume to be the luckiest of all, in terms of materialistic pleasures and luxury. Have a read at this scenario. A person from rural India considers the men in cities to be luckier than what they are. The men in the Indian cities consider the people working in USA to be luckier. Finally, the Indian working community in USA consider those who study in USA to be the luckiest. Wow ! Does that mean that I (grad student in US) am the luckiest ? ? ? Logically speaking... the answer is YES (if luck is measured only in terms of materialism) !
But, there is lot more associated with "Not Being Lucky". I miss my dear ones living in India, I miss my lovely little WagonR car, the tasty Indian food made by my mom, the ride on my Kinetic honda, the weekend shopping with my sis, tasting hotel food with my dad, freaking out with friends, wasting time watching television, playing video games, ... (Hmmm!) To get something, we need to lose something... Thats the law of nature !
October 18, 2004
I thought of having a few themes (tags) attached to my blog messages... You may ask me why? Its just to facilitate easy searching, to get my thoughts organized, to make me think in more directions, and importantly - to be a little different (innovative) than I was before. Following are the themes that I have in mind as of now. More will be added to this list in course of time.
- [Inside My Mind~] - my thoughts, opinions, principles and all other thought-level stuff residing in my mind
- [Is it Funny?] - jokes, riddles and comics that make us laugh
- [Hmm...Interesting !] - Forwarded articles that caught my attention
- [Colors of My Life] - Noteworthy events in my life
- [My Findings] - Knowledge-rich-articles or any interesting stuff that I come across
- [Just Blogging] - All others that cannot be assigned a category
The list will be extended later !
The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.
In most watch advertisements the time displayed on the watch is 10:10 because then the arms frame the brand of the watch and make it look like it's smiling.
The color blue can have a calming affect on people.
Depending upon the shade, the brain may send up to 11 tranquilizing chemicals to calm the body.
Leonardo da Vinci could write with the one hand and draw with the other simultaneously. Now we know why his pictures were exquisite!!
Names of the three wise monkeys are: Mizaru (See no evil), Mikazaru(Hear no evil), and Mazaru (Speak no evil).
The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning it's head are the rabbit and parrot.
The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age.
The names of the continents all end with the same letter with which they start.
Electricity doesn't move through a wire but through a field around the wire.
All U.S. Presidents have worn glasses; some of them just didn't like to be seen wearing them in public.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple.
Raw cashews are poisonous and must be roasted before you have it.
October 15, 2004
My midterm exams got over yesterday... and I hardly have any work for the next week. Ofcourse ~ my projects are due in 2 weeks from now. Anyways, it was a great relief after the PCN exam got over yesterday. The paper was not easy... but, I managed to remember the required formulas and started off with a right approach. However, I lost my way in getting the numerical values and calculations right. I felt a little better soon after discussing the solutions with my peers on completing the exam. Many of my friends had the same problem in getting the numerical values right. Good that I am not the only one of this kind !
"HEADSTRONG" - This is one of the words that I like a lot in the english dictionary. This describes a very positive side of being stubborn. This is infact the word, which exactly describes my own personal mindset. Well... here are some of my thoughts worth mentioning... I believe that a wavering mind can never make big decisions... and eventually can never make it BIG in life. A mind which always regrets abt its previous decisions will fail to acknowledge any success passing its way. The solutuion strategy is very simple... Make a decision only once~ but make it very firmly. Make it a point to get opinions from elders or friends, but let them not take the decision on your behalf. But once a decision is being made... be HEAD STRONG about it ! Do you agree with this ? ? ?
October 14, 2004
I recently read an article that describes a way to create passwords that are hard to break by an intruder, and easy to remember at the same time... Just follow the steps ~
1. Take 2 or more words that have literally no relation to each other (Preferably, select words from foreign language)
2. Make sure that the combined length of the words is atleast 8 characters long
3. Change the case of your prefered characters to be different from the usual case (lower use).
4. Insert a special character in between the individual words. (eg. $, %, &, ...)
Now, your password is ready and safe from intruders !
October 13, 2004
There has been a sudden drop in the temperature last sunday(Oct 3rd, 2004) . I never saw such a drastic change in the seasons before. The Summer season just vanished in a day... and the Fall season started off immediately. Cool days ahead ~ Great !
October 08, 2004
Chewing on gum while cutting onions can help a person from stop producing tears. Try it next time you chop onions!!!!!!!!!!
Until babies are six months old, they can breathe and swallow at the same time. Indeed convenient!
Offered a new pen to write with, 97% of all people will write their own name.
Male mosquitoes are vegetarians. Only females bite.
The average person's field of vision encompasses a 200-degree wide angle.
To find out if a watermelon is ripe, knock it, and if it sounds hollow then it is ripe.
Canadians can send letters with personalized postage stamps showing their own photos on each stamp.
Babies' eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old.
It snowed in the Sahara Desert in February of 1979.
Plants watered with warm water grow larger and more quickly than plants watered with cold water.
Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.
Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.
Those stars and colours you see when you rub your eyes are called phosphenes.
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
Everyone's tongue print is different, like fingerprints.
Contrary to popular belief, a swallowed chewing gum doesn't stay in the gut.. It will pass through
the system and be excreted.
At 40 Centigrade a person loses about 14.4 calories per hour by breathing.
There is a hotel in Sweden built entirely out of ice; it is rebuilt every year.
Cats, camels and giraffes are the only animals in the world that walk right foot, right foot, left
foot, left foot, rather than right foot,left foot...
Onions help reduce cholesterol if eaten after a fatty meal.
October 05, 2004
Here are some ideas that I borrowed from a course material for "Oral Communication & Critical Thinking". While I was just scanning through the pages of printed notes/assignments of this courses, I found some interesting stuff to think about, write, and do in my spare time.
An interesting hobby
Prepare a 3-5 minutes oral presentation on something you know very well... say a favorite book, your ideas on philosophy, your home town, behaviour of your favorite birds or animals, your ideas on self... Make sure that you have enough information for short conversations with your peers.
Think a minute about it...
SUCCESS - What is it? Who has it? How will you achieve it?
A book that changed your life
Take a walk in my shoes - Blog your interesting findings so that others can experience the feelings that u had...
Document your life as it goes in the form of photos, and arranging them into a journal that tells ur story.
Behind the scenes
Write down the background activities in which you participated for a fruitful outcome of an event that appeared very simple to the public.
There are many more... out of which, only the above ones caught my eyes.
September 22, 2004
I just got these interesting 2 line maxims forwarded by my sis... Check them out! They are good~
Many people will walk in and out of your life.But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He, who loses money, loses much;
He, who loses a friend, loses much more;
He, who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them allyourself.
Friends, you and me...
You brought another friend...
And then there were 3...
We started our group...
Our circle of friends...
And like that circle...There is no beginning or end...
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.Today is a gift.
September 13, 2004
I found this interesting paragraph while reading thru the introduction pages of Rod Johnson's book titled "J2EE Design and Development". He was refering to his personal approach and attitude towards problem-solving & software development in this world of Computers (programming).
- I'm a pragmatist. I care about outcomes more than ideology. When I work
on a project, my primary goal is to deliver a quality result on time and budget.
The technology that I use is a tool towards that goal, and not an end in
- I believe sound OO principles should underpin J2EE
- I believe that maintainability is crucial to the value of any
- I try to avoid religious positions.
- I'm a pragmatist. I care about outcomes more than ideology. When I work
I get the feeling that all Computer programmers / developers need to have the same attitude towards their projects.
September 03, 2004
One more to my list of Certifications... Today, I wrote the SCBCD exam (Sun Certified Business Component Developer) for EJB 2.0 (Java Enterprise Edition 1.3), and scored 87% in it. The examination seemed to be very easy to me... and for a moment, I thought that I cracked the test. But, things did not work the way I thought. I was unknowingly wrong in few of my answers... Anyways, 87% is a far decent score. I am happy about it and its a big day for me ! ! ! Now... I am on my way for the SCWCD. Ha haa haa ~
August 13, 2004
Today morning, I could find nothing functioning... The computer labs are locked, library is closed, Cafetaria has its shutters half-down (open for its cleaning work only, & not for the public), none walking up and down the buildings, and no signs of a Friday morning. My Roomies and I got up late in the morning (latter than usual), and are now staying at home jobless. Do you know why? ? ? Its becoz there is a power failure in the university. There has been some under-ground work going on (may be displacing the power cables)... as a result of which, the power has been shut down for the next 24 hours. Now, I can see how dependent are these Americans on regular power supply. The security system in the library, computers and servers, Billing machines at the Cafeteria, ... and u name it, Nothing can function without electricity.
August 02, 2004
I was studying hard for last 15 days without a break starting from July 17th... preparing for the SCBCD exam. At the end of 15th day, I got pissed off with it, and decided to kill my time by doing nothing useful (i mean not studying...) for a day or two. Its during this period that I learnt how hard it is to while away time doing nothing. Hmmm! Just killing time without getting frustrated is the toughest job that one can do... Today, I am back to my usual routine and am intending to finish reading the book ('Head First EJB' for SCBCD exam) by end of the day. I have scheduled the next 20 days to revise the entire book atleast twice before I can take up the final big one (SCBCD exam) at Prometric Testing Centre in this month end.
July 31, 2004
Yesterday at 2:00 in the afternoon, I bought a bicycle (bike) at Walmart. Sooooooo, I'll have a ride to nearby places and around my univ during early mornings or late evenings everyday. Doubtlessly, its good to feel the fresh air and exercise in the open space early in the morning. Let me try my best...
July 28, 2004
While I was browsing through Abdul Kalam's 'India 2020- A Vision for the New Millennium', an idea flashed onto my mind. Why don't I give a thought about a vision for my own future. Hey, let me rephrase it... How do you see yourself in next 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 years. This question sounds very familiar... isn't it? YES ! Its an infamous repeatedly-asked interview question. I know what to answer and ofcourse, I have my ambitions and future plans intact... But, I never sketched out a blue-print about my ambitions and did not put any effort to timeline my goals. It would be a good way to prepare for the future. Needless to say that it should change with the changing times & international economic scenarios. But, the overall picture regarding my goals cannot change... I shall start thinking and documenting it right away ~
July 22, 2004
I got an interview call last week... from 'Viewlocity Analysis Inc' for an internship position in Quality Assurance. Today, the day has arrived... I had my interview at its office located in Richardson. The interview went on cooool, and I felt a friendly ambience around me. After a while, I was asked to get into a conference room, where the interview took place. Several questions were asked... some related to my previous projects & how did I go about doing them, some related to the quality assurance part of my projects, some regarding the development techniques, and finally some questions abt how I participate in a team & work along with my collegues.
The interview was conducted by 2 people (Quality Assurance Project Manager, and the leader) and it lasted for nearly 1 hour. At the interview, I was frank (truthful), confident and energetic while answering their questions. All the questions were neat and straightforward. Just before leaving, I was asked to take up a written assignment to check how I approach a given problem... and guessss, I had done a good job. When I was done with the interview, I was happy with my performance and had my way to the nearest bus-stop to catch a bus that was running towards UTD.
July 21, 2004
Today, I got a Quarter (25 cents coin) that has the 'State of TEXAS' represented on its face. Thanks to Sushil (my roomate) for the coin. It is infact a rare one to get... since it has been released only in the year 2003. Now, I have 20 State represented US quarters. There are 13 more state quarters to be collected. Hmmm!
Its always fun (but needs patience) speaking to call center people at US. They could hardly spell my name correctly... So, I had to spell it in a way they can understand... I mean, I had to find acronymns to each letter on my name. This is how it goes ~
SESHU - S as in 'Sandy' ; E as in 'Edwin' ; S as in 'Sandy' ; H as in 'Henry' ; U as in 'Utah'... This does not stop here !
K (my middle initial) - K as in 'Kerry (or Katty)'
TANVEER - T as in 'Tom' ; A as in 'Andrew' ; N as in 'Nancy' ; V as in 'Victoria' ; E as in 'Edwin' ; E as in 'Edwin' ; R as in 'Roger'.
Huh ! Atlas, its done (finish telling my name)... after a minute or two.
July 12, 2004
I firmly believe that anything can be accomplished with the aid of a good book. All I need is a book that will guide me and tell me the path to accomplish my objective. I did exceedingly well in the SCJP exam to become a Sun Certified Java Programmer. All the credit goes to the authors (Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates) of the book titled "Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java2 Study Guide". This was my study guide for the exam... and it is indeed a great book.
Now, I purchased a book published by 'Apress' to prepare for SCJD exam based on excellent reviews. The book reviews at Amazon.com give the most informative feedback about any book under any subject. Infact, this helped me to pick and choose the best book that meet my needs. At the same time, reading a bad book could let me down completely. Recently, I read a book on JDBC by Oreilly publication without paying attention to the book reviews. It is such a bad book, that I lost complete interest on JDBC. I at once stopped reading that and switched over to a better book based on the reviews. Now, I realized the importance of reviews (be it film reviews or book reviews or electronic product reviews)...
July 11, 2004
My BOSS had recruited people to work as 'Unix Consultants' at UTD-labs in summers. Aaron is one of them... While I was speaking to him at JO-Lab, he said that he is writing a fiction/fantacy novel and currently, it is at its anti-climax stage. Well... This is the first time in life that I met a novel writer. Now, it stikes me! I am also a novel writer... if I can convert this entire blog into multitude chapters (stuffing all blogs written in a month into a single chapter... resulting in 12 chapters). The outcome would be a boring legend of a tame boy in US. Haaa haa ha ;-) I swear~ I will not do that !
July 08, 2004
Hey... My photos that were shot during the 'South-Texas Tour' have been uploaded in my PHOTO BLOG. You can find them under the heading 'PHOTO ALBUMS' in the side column of its page. Have a glance at them if time permits !
July 05, 2004
I along with my friends(Naveen, Vinodh, Satya, Siddharth) had a road trip to South Texas for the weekend. We started off on July 2nd at 4:30pm in Mitsubishi Lancer. Our plan was to visit College Station and go around Texas A&M univ on Friday... Houston & Galveston on Saturday... and San Antonio on Sunday. We were able to execute our plans as we intended to.
On friday (July 2nd), we rented a Mitsubishi Lancer for the same price of a Toyoto Echo at Enterprise Cars. Wow! Its a great DEAL~ We soon started off for a 3.5 hours drive to College Station. Our cameras were put to use at the highway and we had fun taking pics of the flyovers, road-side ranch and the highway traffic at the circuitous roads. I had my laptop with me for some entertainment in the car - play good music, watch video songs and browse the articles that I have in my laptop.
We reached TAMU (Texas A&M univ) at 8:00 pm with ease. We then had a short gossip with Ajit and his room-mates, had our dinner at Cici's and finally, we went around Texas A&M univ along with Ajit. The univ is almost 10 times the size of UTD. Oh my god ! No wonder, it is the biggest univ in Texas. Infact, we could only go around and explore half the university in a duration of 2 hours. Ajit accompanied us during our entire stay in College Station. May be at around 2:00 in the midnight, we had a good nap at his residence.
We got ready for our trip to Houston on Saturday morn at 9:00am and reached NASA at 12:00 noon on July 3rd. We spent nearly 5 hours inside NASA. We had guided tram-tours to International Space Station (ISS) where Astronauts are trained, and to the Machine-Control-Room. These 2 guided tours snatched away most of our time. We also watched a few documentary films and played with simulation stuff. Several facts were told about what it needs to be an astronaut, purpose and performance of Mars Rover, short history & achievements of NASA, and ongoing projects. I then realized the heights in technology that a man could reach with determination. Here, they have a custom to plant an Oak tree for every astronaut who gives away his life for the mission. During the guided tours, we paused at those oak trees for a moment to maintain silence and remember those brave souls.
Galveston was the place of our immediate destiny from Nasa as it was just a 45 minute drive away from there. We had a Domino's pizza at the Galveston Beach for our late-lunch and then, we got into the sea and played with water... though the water is turbid in nature. We played with sand, watched the sea-gulls, had a running race in seawater, and clicked at a few good pics. At 9:30pm, we had our way to San-Antonio.
We started looking out for a good motel when we reached San Antonio at 2:00am. Our search efforts were in vain when we failed to get accomodation in any of them. So, we stopped our car at H.E.B's parking lot and slept in the car that night. At 6:00am on July 4th, we got up from sleep, refreshed ourselves, and had our way to visit the "Tower of Americas". This tower is 750ft high and it has a revolving restaurant at its apex. We could get a view of the entire city from the tower. There were water-fountains, flowers and greenery all around the tower and its a good hang-out spot for the youth. We then had a stroll along the river-walk and enjoyed our way by window-shopping at the shops and admiring the greenery. We had our lunch (sorry... its brunch) at "What-a-Burger" and entered into 'Seaworld'.
At Seaworld in San Antonio, our first show was "The Shamu Adventure". This show gave us the opportunity to witness the beauty of the park's biggest star "Shamu, the killer whale". We got the front few seats hoping to get completely drench in the splash. But, Shamu splashed water at people in several other places around the pool than what we had thought of. So... we came out not getting drenched. However... at the show, the camera man had captured us onto the big screen that was on display for the viewers. The whale performed few good stunts such as flying out of the water, carrying men on its back, and posing infront of the audience. Then, we went to few more shows: Rockin ski party that demonstrates various ski stunts, 'Viva'- White whale and dolphin show, 'Fools with tools'- seals and sealions show, and Riptide- athletic and fast paced show. All the shows were very exclusive, unique and admirable.
We also experienced various water rides such as Texas Splashdown and Water lagoon. At 9:30pm, we watched at some spectacular fireworks to celebrate the Independence Day of America and finally, we watched a special 4D film at the seaworld theatre. Hmmm! Guessing what could be a 4D film. Its too good ~ Its all about experiencing the effects of a 3D film with a water splasher, a blower and a vibrator attached to every seat in the theatre. For some special effects such as a water splash in the movie, water will really be directed onto your face by a water sprinkler attached to your seat. Likewise, air will be blown or vibration will be given at appropriate times while watching the movie. Well! Its something new and fascinating.
At 11:00pm, we had our dinner on our way back to Dallas and we reached home on July 5th, at 5:30am in the morning. Its a great trip... and infact, its my first road trip in US.
June 30, 2004
On last sunday (June 27, 2004), I had been to Imax theatre along with my friend Naveen to watch a 3D film titled "NASCAR". Its indeed a totally different experience watching a full-fledged 3D film in a screen of dimension 80ft X 60ft with a 6 channel digital sound system. The experience is nothing short of awesome.
The film is all about the history & present of NASCAR sport and is basically a documentary film. I could feel the experience of being a spectator of live car race, sense the need for speed, and smell the ambience in and around the race. Let me rephrase it... I got the feeling of being substituted in place of the camera and not merely watching a video that had been shot by a camera.
Naveen and I decided to enjoy every Sunday by exploring what America has in store for us. Lets see whatz coming up for next weekend. I guess its a South-Texas road tour ! By the way, You can visit my photo blog to view my pics that were clicked at IMAX theatre.
Today onwards, I am a Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP)... Yes ! I had taken up the SCJP examination today at 2:00 pm. The exam was conducted at "Thomson Prometric Testing Centre" in Coit Road - DALLAS. The questions seemed to be pretty easy, though I had to keep my fingers crossed for 4 tough questions. I scored 83% by rightly answering 51 questions out of a total 61 questions (pass criteria is 52%).
Thanks to Naveen for giving me a ride to the exam centre and Venky for taking care of my job-shift at JO Lab (my workplace). I was contented with my performance when I came to know my exam results. The certificate and the ID card will be sent to me by snail mail. I also clicked at a few photo-shots at Prometric Testing Centre after having got the permission from the working staff. I then got hold of a city-bus and reached home safely ~ Now, I am thinking hard about what certification should I take next... SCJD or IBM's Websphere exam. Any suggestions ? ? ?
June 29, 2004
A Back-up of my blog is now available at Google's Blogger. It basically has the same content as this blog... (just to make sure that my blog is available at all times)
June 26, 2004
Well... I have made a few small changes to my blogsite (as you can see)... Just varying the background color and changing the pic at your left. I also added the COUNTDOWN list at the side-section to let the world know about my immediate milestones or special events. You may also find a randomly generated adage at the end of page. I am infact trying to give my blog a different look alltogether, by changing the template structure... but it needs hell lot of time for fine-tuning. Hmmm! I have no time & patience right now~
June 23, 2004
Here is a list of state quarters that are in circulation. Quarters representing 30 states have been released until now. The new state coins for 2004 include Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. I just have 14 of them out of a total 30 state represented coins. Anyways... I have enough time to collect all of them.23/2004
June 22, 2004
My friend Vinoth has sent me a very good article that speaks about the reputation of USA, and what is its present stand in the minds of people around the world... Read it yourself ~
Destination US: Only visa power
- THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
If anti-Americanism is on the rise around the world, no one told the
kids in the student visa line at the US Embassy in Beijing. The quest
among Chinese students for visas to study in America, say US Embassy
officials, has become so intense that it has spawned Internet chat
rooms, where Chinese students swap stories about which arguments work
best with which US consular officials.
Just how closely Chinese students strategise over the Internet on how
to get visas to America - at a time when fewer are being given for
security reasons - was revealed to the embassy recently when on one
day one consular officer had scores of students come through with the
same line, which some chat room had suggested would work: ''I want to
go to America to become a famous professor.'' After hearing this all
day, he was surprised to get one student who came before him and
pronounced, ''My mom has an artificial limb and I want to build a
better artificial leg for my mom and that is why I want to study in
the US.'' The consular officer was so relieved to hear a new line that
he told the young man: ''You know, this is the best story I've heard
this morning. I really salute you. I'm going to give you a visa.''
You guessed it. The next day every other student who showed up at the
embassy said he or she wanted to go to America to learn how to build
''a better artificial limb for my mother''.
Hearing stories like this, you have to wonder: Are Bush officials
right when they dismiss all of this talk that President Bush has made
America more unpopular in the world now than at any other time in
post-war history? Do people really hate us? Don't those visa lines say
To begin with, there are a few ''technical'' reasons why
anti-Americanism generally does not have the same edge in Asia as in
Europe and the Middle East. Asia's leaders have much more legitimacy
than leaders in the Arab world, either because they have come to power
through free elections or because they have delivered on their promise
of economic growth. Because of that, they don't need to demonise
America to deflect their people's anger from them. Also, Asia
generally is focused like a laser on economic development - and
countries like China see investment and technology transfer from
America as critical to their growth.
''People in Asia do not hate the US,'' Singapore's elder statesman,
Lee Kuan Yew, said. ''Countries like China and India are focused on
their economic development, they see in America an enormous well to
draw technology and economic growth from.''
But here's the problem: Young people want American education and
technology more than ever, but fewer want to wear our T-shirts - want
to be identified as ''pro-American''. As one former US diplomat in
Beijing put it: ''They want to cherry-pick us, not line up with us.
We've lost prestige.''
The idea of America as the embodiment of the promise of freedom and
democracy - not just of technology and high living standards - is
integral to how we think of ourselves, but it is no longer how a lot
of others think of us. They are now compartmentalising. The unilateral
war in Iraq, the post-war mess there, the walk-away from Kyoto and
other treaties, the Abu Ghraib scandal have taken a toll. The idea of
US as embodying the charisma of democracy has been damaged. As
political theorist Yaron Ezrahi put it, ''America as the do-gooder has
been hurt, but America as the goods-doer is still there.''
Fortunately, this situation is not irreparable. The longing for an
America that exports hope, not fear, and that is an example of the
best global practices and values, runs really deep in the world. In
fact, it is one reason that some people abroad are so angry with
President Bush - because they blame him for taking that America away
from them. I'm convinced a different approach or different
administration would elicit a big response from the world. But for
now, we will pay a price, because when people want to line up for our
visas but not for our policies, it means Americans alone will have to
bear the burden and the price of those policies. That is not good for
us. When you lose your status as a power with values, you weaken your
ability to fight those powers without values.
June 21, 2004
It is the longest war that US had ever fought and eventually lost. I happened to read a small book on Vietnam war, which my friend Naveen had got it home. It just had a 10 page description & analysis about this war (a very interesting one to read...) The best part of it is to learn the reasons why the Americans lost the war, and the lessons that they learnt from it.
The war was basically between the communism-favored North Vietnamese and the Republic favoring South Vietnamese. US obviously supported the South Vietnam by supplying enough fighting equipments and the war lasted for 25 years before US accepted defeat. The North Vietnam was supported stongly by both Soviet Union and China (the 2 strong Communist forces). USA had its piece of share in the war to protect people from communism, which was a noble cause. Just to tell you about the US military efforts and the intense of the war, let me quote some analysis from the book...
US warplanes dropped three times more explosives on North & South Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos than were dropped by all combatants during the world war II. This amounted to 15 million tons of explosives. The US dropped more tonnage of hanoi and haiphong during the Christmas Campign of 1972 than Nazi Germany did on Great Britain between 1940-1945. The US spent $120 billion on the war.
I am sure that you would now like to know 'why they failed to win?'. Read the below one!
The policy of greadual escalation was wrong. Once commiteed, the United States should have launched massive air attacks on North Vietnam, as was belatedly done during the Christmas season of 1972. Moreover, politicians and military officers imposed too many restricted fire zones, handicapping ground operations against the Viet Cong. The US should have also blockaded Cambodia and Laos, cutting off Communist supply lines, and perhaps invaded North Vietnam. The aim of the war is to win...
Lets see what did USA learn from its failure. This info is from the concluding para in the book...
However rich and powerful, the United States was incapable of imposing its will upon a determined, albeit much weaker foe. The American experience in Vietnam demonstrated the limits of national power in an age of international diversity and nuclear weaponry.
I guess... it is because of this lesson, that USA decided to adhere to its limits and did not dare to get involved in solving the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan. The good part of it is the lessons learnt by USA,... but the bad part is the terrible blood & life loss in the war.
June 20, 2004
Well... I am stuck to my summer plans so far (all that I had said at the beggining of the summer semester). But, I forgot to consider any of the extra-curricular stuff into my summer plans. I was more focused on the Technical skills that I could acquire, but totally overlooked the opportunity to learn golf, practice swimming in the early morn, skate to distant places, play tennis ...etc. Anyways, I came to realize it while conversing with Rajesh anna. He had also adviced me to go and visit places in US, do something more different than others, and make the most of student-life in USA. I am just trying hard to find companions for short trips out of Dallas. I dont know why all my friends prefer to stick to their homes as if it might get robbed at any moment.
Today, I enquired about the golf course details and I am likely to join the course from the beginning of next month. In the morning, I skated to far away places that I have never skated before. To be more precise, I skated to the CS department building & JO lab from my appartment. It was very refreshing and am feeling good & energetic today. I would love to go swimming from next week onwards... Lets see how things go ~
Y'day... The clear morning sky slowly got smudged with the dark water clouds, thunders boomed, weather turned breezy, sunlight got dimmed ... and then, something strange happened. Do u know what? ? ? It RAINED (ha haa haa... i guess this is how suspence movies/books are screenplayed). I was just trying to immitate the same screenplay in my writing. I saw "Scary Movie 2" recently, and it is in this film that all these kinds of screenplays are exagerated & made fun of..
Well... Anyways, it really rained yesterday. I always wonder why thunders throb and lightning flashes whenever it rains (though I must have studied the science behind it in my school-days... but who remembers!) I found the answer in my G.K book and shall quote it below.
Warm, wet air surges upwards into the sky and cools dramatically forming thunderstorms. Some of the water inside the clouds freezes and strong air currents make the ice and water droplets bump together. This knocks tiny charged particles called electrons from the ice and so there is build-up of electical charge. This charge is released by a stroke of lightning. The lightning heats the air around it to an incredible 30,000 degree celcius. This heat causes the air to expand very fast (faster than the speed of sound). It is this which causes the crash of thunder. Often, we see lightning first and then hear the thunder bolts as light travels faster than sound.
Well... this is the story behind the scenes.
June 19, 2004
Hey ... Finally after 2 months of my work at the Jonnsson's Lab, my photo has been put up at the CA's page in the UTD's TCS website. You can find my pic at the end of the list since I am one of the new-comers to TCS.
June 18, 2004
June 17, 2004
Are you bored reading Offshoring articles...? Let this be your last one to summarize all of them! Most of the articles on "Offshoring and Outsourcing" are redundantly based on the same old topics and arrive at same old conclusions. I have been browsing such articles since last year, but found no news that added to my existing knowledge of it. I could break down the evergreen opinions on Offshoring into simple points as:
1. Companies feel that there is a great reduction in their cost & expenditure by offshoring projects to low-wage countries.
2. These companies feel that it gives them an opportunity to lay more emphasis on R&D, and carry out extensive research in US.
3. India & other countries are announcing, and proving that they are also capable to carry out Research & Development works, and not just low-salaried jobs.
4. Issues about what can be offshored and what should not... (obviously security issues come into play)
5. The US government consistently keeps announcing that the offshoring has not substantially affected the job market in US (in contrary to the statistics). However, everyone knows what the facts are... It also puts the temporary job growth to limelight, inorder to wipe the tears of the affected ones.
6. The US government also attempts to reduce the offshoring trend, but all in vain.
7. Some say that "Offshoring" is just a temporary trend and the industry will be back to normal after a while... but most of them deny that to be a temporary trend.
8. The effective solution suggested by the economists is that, R&D has to grow stronger and come up with innovations and new technology. As a result, the low-wage countries cannot immediately employ such new trends in technology.
I came across this article (click here)as I was browsing some tech-news at CNET. Well... this is a good article that focuses on the research works on the near-future trends that are carried out in IBM. As we all know, IBM always enjoys the pleasure of innovation.
June 11, 2004
Hey... I got email access to GMAIL and it will be my new & official email address (seshukarthick at gmail . com) from now on. Gmail allocates 1 GB to all its users (you might have known this anyways). My second update of the day is ... guess what? I have started off with a new Photo-Blog and named it "FLASH MEMORY". The blog title is just to give credit to my digi-cam's flash-memory-card without which I might drop the very idea of a photo-blog. Having captured several cool pics with my cam, I thought this blog may serve as a right tool to share some of my best photo-shots with you all... You can find the hyperlink to my Photo-Blog at the side-section under the category "Personal Links".
June 08, 2004
Today (since last night), there were thunder showers at Dallas and let me remind you... this is at the mid of summers. The rain started downpouring all of a sudden without a forehand clue for the spectator. The lightning and thunder bolts are very common sights even before it rains or just when the sky become cloudy & messy. The weather in Texas is so strange and funny that the local residents use a maxim that says - "If you dont like the weather today,... wait a moment... and it will change."
Hey... let me tell you about one more observation of mine. Here, we can see the moon at any time during the day. At 1:00 in the afternoon (everyday), I could find both the sun and the moon starring at each other in the sky. How peculiar it is... Never I have seen such a sight in India.
June 07, 2004
'Freaky Friday' is the movie that I had seen y'day night. Its a very hilarious, entertaining, frolicsome (all mean the same) movie... I prefer watching such fun-oriented ones to heavy-story weighted ones. The story of this film tries to convey a message that every person can understand each other if one can put oneself in the place of the other person. The story goes like this... A mother & her daughter always failed to understand each other and ended up in repeated arguments. One day, some fortune cookie from China (a magical toy) made the mother to get into the body of her daughter and the daughter to get into her mother's body. Now, the actual fun starts ... and this lasts until they completely understand each other.
This reminds me about how I quarreled with my old friend during my under-grad college days... Not a day passed without a quarrel with her (all in the name of friendship)! Sounds odd... isn't it? Gone were those days when i lacked the emotional maturity. Now, things are going very cool between us... and do u know how & why? Its because we very rarely communicate with each other. Haa haa haaa~
June 03, 2004
I Wish I could Use Computers in Real Life... (an article forwarded by my friend)
1) 5 minutes ago you were traveling to office at 80 mph in your brand new car. Now you are traveling to hospital at double the speed in an ambulance. You wish there was 'UNDO' in life!
2) You are already late, and your key is missing, You wish there was 'FIND TOOL' in life!
3) You are a bankrupt, after investing in some weird business, You wish there was 'REBUILD ALL' in life!
4) The train is so crowded that you cannot get anywhere near that nice girl at the other end, you wish there was 'ZOOM AND VIEW FULL SCREEN' in life!
5) One day you realize that you are turning bald, You wish there was 'CUT & PASTE' in life... And the best one is ...
6) After marriage you realize that there is bound to be a mismatch, You wish there was an 'EVALUATION PERIOD' or at least a 'SAMPLE ! DOWNLOAD' or a 'DEMO VERSION'!
June 02, 2004
Hey... let me tell you a birthday tale that resulted in more than one surprise to each of us. My friend/room-mate A.B.Vinodh flew to his sister's place on May 30th and would return home on June 1st (morning). Let me remind you that his birthday is on June 1st. So, we all (I along with my other room-mates - 5 guys) decided to give him a surprise at 12:00 midnight on May 31. We bought a Chocolate-Tuffle cake and a few candles at Walmart and had a ride to the place where Vinodh is staying. It was just 5 minutes past 12:00 at night when we called Vinodh to come down the stairs and open the main door. We placed the cake on top of the car, lighted a few candles and all of us were ready to shoot photo-snaps at Vinodh as soon as he comes. He peeped through the window and he waived his hand at us in half-sleep. It all looked like a replication of how friends celebrate b'day parties in films (especially Hindi films). Things were getting as expected till now.
Now, here is a big surprise to us... It requires Vinodh's sister to open the main door since a security code needs to be keyed in before the door is unlocked. However, Vinodh did not wish to wake up his sister / brother-in-law during late-night. Hence, all that he could do is to keep on waiving his hand from his room and through the window. Hmmm ! this is a return surprise to us when we realized that he could not come downstairs and open the main door. After waiting for a while, we decided to go home without the cake being cut by the b'day boy.
It was after 2 days (June 2 - today) that he finally cut the cake. But now, we were more interested in eating the cake & ice-cream than celebrating his birthday. I burst into laughter (as I am doing now) whenever I think of how his bday celebration ended up in surprises to each other. Overall, the surprises were a result of mis-appropriate timed events...
June 01, 2004
My blog site has been included in the Indian Bloggers List under my name as SESHU TANVEER and my blog is refered as "Ex-pressions is Solitude".
May 30, 2004
All the BLOG hosters such as Blogger, Blogdrive, RediffBlog, ... have sites for online blog updates but no tool for offline blogging. How about a tool similar to 'Microsoft Outlook Express' that downloads the latest messages from the server (OR) updates the server with the latest blog message stored in it. By this way, the user can have a track of his own previous blogs and for offline reference. It would be good if any of the Blog hosters come up with plans of implementing this idea.
May 28, 2004
I personally feel that money as a standalone concept has very less value... Much more value will be added only if money is clubbed with time. I mean to say that 'Money at the right time makes more value than money at any given time'. This is a coupling similar to how information is clubbed with time. There is an old adage that says "You loose all your health to earn money and later, you loose all your money to regain health".
This thought kept flashing in my mind when some of my friends did not wish to join me for camping / sightseeing to neighbouring places (away from Dallas) this summer vacation due to the fact of loosing money. What good will it do when we save money all through our lives and hardly use them for enjoyment. May be later... when we have lots of money to spend, we may not find enough time, companions, spirits or fun as we find at the most appropriate age / time (especially in student life). Anyway, its all about attitude... I know that most of them might not agree with me. Anyways, hope I get a good companion to visit atleast one of the states in US other than Texas during the summer's 2nd intersession.
May 27, 2004
Now-a-days, I have been watching many many movies... the count is atleast one movie per day. Most of them are English ones from DVDs. My recently watched English films include 'Road to Perdition', 'Clueless', "America's Sweethearts" and finally "Catch me if you can". Other films include "Mallishwari" and "Ayudha Ezhathu".
'Road to Perdition' is a total slow but a classic movie that focuses at father-son relation. The movie screens the 1960's scenario with relevant settings. However, the film is slightly touchy at the end...
I enjoyed watching 'Clueless' and 'America's Sweethearts' as they are plain fun-filled hilarious movies. Alica Silverstone looked damn pretty in 'Clueless' and she played the role of a high-school gorgeous girl. Hmmm ! Feel like watching more & more of her films.
'Catch me if you can' is too good a movie which precisely outlines the real life of Frank W.Abagnale Jr. who managed to fraud many officials, forge cheques at all 50 states of US and many other countries, projected himself as a pilot, a lawyer and a doctor - all before his 21st birthday. After having been imprisoned for several years, this gentleman is now in a team with FBI to reveal Cheque Frauds, design cheques for several Banks & Fortune 500 companies and has a consultancy of his own. He told in an interview that the most incredible fact he feels is the positive career that he brought out inspite of his improper past ...(infact it is from his past that he made a great career).
'Ayutha Ezhathu' is a good movie that has a little story-value but has a big message to the youth of india. I really doubt what would have been the election results in Tamil Nadu if this movie had been released prior to the national elections. This movie has a touch of mass and politics though not in depths... The movie ended in a very incomplete fashion and the climax seemed to be a total let down by Manirathnam. I have no clue of what has happened to Madhavan (Abishek Bachan in Yuva) at the end of this film in the story.
May 17, 2004
Today, I got my Driving licence at around 10:30 in the morning. My friends who accompanied me (Vinodh & Naveen) also managed to get the driving licence without trouble. Well... let me tell you some cool stuff that we experimented with the hired car! We (my friends and I) shared the cost of hiring a car for a long-weekend (saturday-monday). We opted for an economical one... so, landed up with "Toyoto ECHO". Its a 2-door medium sized car that can just accomodate 5 guys (not too fat ones).
On friday, we came up with a clever idea of getting the licence on the same day of hiring the car. But unfortunately, we could not get the time-slot for the practical driving test as there were enough drivers in the queue. So, we had our lunch at Cici's on our way back home and I had my shift (job) in the evening. My friends gave me a ride upto my workplace, and then left to Walmart to purchase groceries.
By the way, Ajit had come that night from TAMU to spend the weekend with us. The next day, we all (5 guys) had our trip to a theme park named "Six Flags Over Texas" at Arlington. We lost our way to Six Flags at the very beggining of our trip, but finally managed to reach there in double the travelling time (1.5 hrs) than what is actually required (45 mins). At Six Flags, it was great fun with so many roller-coster rides for our pleasure.
We could see big queues for the roller-coster rides but nevertheless, they are worthy of our waiting time. Some great rides that I have been include Batman, Gaint Texas ride, TITAN, Superman, Mr.FREEZE, and Flashback. I infact desired to have a ride at "Shockwave", but fell short of time. We started to make our way back at 9:30 pm, and reached home late night at around 11:30 pm after having our dinner at a nearby restaurant. I had been to so many roller-coster rides that i was able to feel the momentum during my sleep tooo... It was damn good fun that we had that day.
Sunday morning, we made some shopping, I had my job, Ajit left to TAMU in the evening, and we practiced parallel parking that night. Infact Parallel Parking has to be done between the 4 polls at the TXDPS center during the test. So we (4 guys including me) went to the same spot, where we will give the test the next day to practice parallel parking. To our dismay, the polls were not fixed in place... So, 3 of us stood in the place of the polls and the 4th guy practiced parking the car. It took nearly an hour for all of us to get the nag of parking the car perfectly withing the polls in just 2 turns.
On Monday morning at 6:50 am, we left home to TXDPS and I was fortunate to get a cool inspector who graded me on my driving skills. I got the licence at last and the same is the case with most of my friends tooo.
May 16, 2004
My Splendid photos section is being updated with my latest photos at "Six Flags Over Texas" theme park. Check them out ~
May 13, 2004
Did you get surprised or shocked at the election results this morning? It was a frustrating moment for me to visualize India in the hands of a foreigner (Italian). BJP did not get the expected results from this election (inspite of scheduling it early). Yet another shock was that Chandhra Babu Naidu had also failed to continue his regime at Andra Pradesh. God alone knows what is in the minds of Indian people...
May 11, 2004
Here is an interesting site that suggests simple 20 steps to perfection of mankind. Another page of the same website tells about 'THE SCIENCE OF SEVEN CULTURES' for quick evolution of human being. This website is based on Indian values, philosophy and teachings. However, the above 2 links will be very useful and fascinating to also those who are not interested into philosophy. Do not miss checking them out ~
May 06, 2004
The end of the semester is always a hectic routine. Same is the case this time tooo... I had my final exams, project submission and the new job calling my attention at the same time. Had busy schedules last month (March) and now, I am literally free as I have not taken any courses for the summer semester. Now is the best time to plan out my time for the long-stretch of vacation. May be this is the last time that I am given free time to make use of. Ofcourse, my first target is to capture in and out of Java's offshoots (I mean J2EE and J2ME).
Then to lay my hands on .NET which is now becoming the trend in the Industry. Finally and most importantly, I wana have Software Arch Design Patterns in my finger tips. Apart from all this self-study, auditing a few courses may further enhance my knowledge. But, what do i do for relaxation and entertainment... Skating, music & movies are always there. Hmmmm! everything is so mechanical and materialistic... getting bored..., I need to meditate atleast for 1/2 hr everyday. WOW! I finished planning my summers in the process of writing this blog. Let me start off executing each of them from tomorow.
The project work in my course "Computer Networks" is to simulate a network ambience using any high level language and file system. I planned my work in advance and completed the project to perfection in 5 days time. But, a very funny but a fatal thing happened just a day before the project submission day. You know what ? ? ? I accidentally deleted the entire folder in which i had my programs in :-( . How silly of me...! The unfortunate thing is that I did not have any back up of the project in my laptop, becoz of poor wireless net connectivity. So, I had to redo the entire project in 24 hrs to go. I got a little tensed within, but just managed to have a smile. Finally ended up completing the project in a day and submitted it atlast. I got an "A" grade in this course.
Anyway, this taught me a great lesson which I will never forget in life - "Have a BACK-UP of the work". This is the most obvious lesson learnt. But, this is not the root cause of my mistake. I really wonder how I could make such a mistake of accidentally deleting my files. I then realized that I might need a better co-ordination of my thoughts and action. The solution flashed in my mind and its nothing but "MEDITATION". I very well know the benifits of meditation.... but I failed to practice it daily... its just becoz I became lazy and hardly found time to experience solitude. However, no excuses to be given this time. I will take care of my mindfulness, and not to forget abt my physical fitness tooo.....
April 01, 2004
Cool day so long.... At around 10:30 in the morn, I attended the mock interview which was conducted by various people in the I.T industry and organised by the SWE (Society of Women Engineers). I had done a good job at the interview. My answers were accurate and upto the point. My interviewer appreciated me for my work and also suggested a few tips for betterment. It was very helpful and certainly enhanced my confidence level. To be frank, I just had to improve on 1 thing... You know what ? It is the voice modulation as I speak out. May be all Indians talk with a flat tone and so is my voice too... I will haveto practice and get it right soon.
Today is my first day at Jonsson's lab working as a Computer Lab Consultant. Its a good place to work and I'm having a great experience here. Naveen helped me with the systems and its been a good day for me so far. Cool Job.... Very comfortable ! BTW, I am blogging all this from my workplace. Shall go home in other 1/2 hr.
Microsoft will release its new version of Windows for MAC. Great news that shocked the industry. Read more abt the article here.
March 28, 2004
While browsing some career articles, I came across a good tale that teaches the nag of answering tough questions at the interview. I am pasting it below... check it.
"Its a tale about student and the wise old rabbi. The scene is a seminary, where an overly serious student is pressing the rabbi to answer the ultimate questions of suffering, life and death. But no matter how hard he presses, the wise old rabbi will only answer each difficult question with a question of his own.
In exasperation, the seminary student demands, "Why, rabbi, do you always answer a question with another question?" To which the rabbi responds, "And why not?". If you are ever uncomfortable with any question, asking a question in return is the greatest escape hatch ever invented. "
March 27, 2004
Y'day night, I saw the film "Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham" from my laptop. My friends were surprised to know that I was watching it for the first time. Naveen infact had asked me what was I doing when whole of India was watching the film last year. Well... it was a worthy film to watch again and again, as long as u dont get senti and tears dont run down ur cheeks on watching it. Sharukh was indeed the best... showing excellence in both humour and family senti. Soon after watching the film, I was speechless and went to sleep experiencing a lot of emotions. I felt like flying back to India to see my parents as early as possible.
March 23, 2004
I had scheduled for a mock inteview at the career center and I made my presence there at 3:00 pm today. The interview was conducted very professionally and it was very useful.. As one could expect, I did a bad job in answering a few tricky quetions and some direct ones, since it was my first interview experience. Anyway, I had learnt from my mistakes and now, I know how to answer them precisely. Let me see how I will perform in another mock interview on April 1st which will be conducted by the people from the I.T industry....
March 22, 2004
I have some good news instore. GUESS what? I got a part-time job as a 'Computer Lab Consultant' at a UNIX lab in my campus. I had finished my paper work today and shall start getting to work from April 1, 2004 onwards. I will have to work for 20 hours per week ( its19.5 hrs to be precise). Hmmm... I atlast got the much awaited job oncampus. Am now looking forward for an internship for the summer. I will have to reconsider my travel plans to India for the summer. Let me see how things work out !
March 21, 2004
India is doubtlessly shining at every field of Art. The BJP slogan "INDIA SHINING" is indeed the unspoken truth. 'Good Times' for India are slowly getting changed to 'Great Times'. With the Vajpayee government doing their best to bring amity between the 2 historic rival nations (India & Pak), peace and mutual progress signs are evidently visible. The 'Golden Quadrilateral' project to provide excellent highway roads across the country may infact be considered as the primary step towards India's progress to become a developed nation.
Adding to the list, the Indian Cricket Team is at its heights, by displaying a brilliant performance at the World Cup and at the consecutive tours.... The I.T outsourcing by several multi-national companies have enabled the Indian job market to shine like never before. I.T has started blooming in India but at the cost of the jobs at US. Never mind.... as long as India prospers.
March 12, 2004
Today, we rented a car (white Toyota Echo) to practice driving on the busy roads of Dallas before we appear for the driving test on Monday. I practiced driving for around 30 minutes today and I got the nag of left-driving in the first 2 minutes.... Initially went round the UTD campus and practiced parallel parking and lane-changing. Then, I raised my accelerator on 'Waterview Road', which is a less busier road. Driving appeared to be a lot fun here than in India. At late night, my room-mates and I sat in front of the net, looking at the score-board of India-Pak cricket match. We infact planned to drive to 'Subji Mundi', where the match is live telecasted. However, we did not risk at our chances. Today was a splendid !
March 10, 2004
This is clever tactic to slow down the offshoring activity by the government. However, the Republican leadership favors the corporate world and eventually, their policies and decisions are in favor of the company benifits. So... let us see how good the bill works out in near future.
March 09, 2004
Y'day, I along with my friends (Vijay and Sushil) got the Instructional Permit at TXDPS (Texas Department of Public Safety)... All that I need now is a driving practice for a day before I get my Texas Driving Licence. Well... I wana get this licence before the spring break gets over. Lets see how it goes...
Soon after getting the job done at TXDPS, we had our way to Walmart, where I got a memory stick for my digi-cam, skates, CD-pouch, and some food stuff. I was very happy for having got the inline-skates of my choice, which I have been searching for it since 2 weeks. I also got myself protective knee-caps and wrist/elbow bands to protect myself while learning to skate. Today morning, I tried skating on a flat surfact near my appartment, and I could get the nag of speeding up with greater balance in the first 15 minutes. But, I could not get the trick to apply brakes and slow down. May be in a day or two, I will try skating from my home to the univ... Its interesing !
March 07, 2004
I've seen it many times on television... but for the first time, I've been to an International Auto show' 2004, which was held at 'Dallas Downtown Convention Center'. The cars are spectacular to watch at. One can find the representatives of all possible Motor companies in US, company catologs, brochures, posters, and a bit of hungama... I went with Rajesh anna's family and was also accompanied by friend Sathyajit. I did not miss out on any opportunity to have my hands on the steering and relax myself on the driver's seat of the best cars.
Well... I am just waiting for my turn to purchase one of those exorbitant cars that caught my eyes at the show. Ofcourse, Ferrari was the highlighted car of the show, and they maintained their high profile status by not allowing people even to get near it (only distant photo shots were allowed). There were many models of BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Maybach, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Infiniti, Porche,... I was most attracted by the one by Maybach whose cost is around 5 crore Indian Rupees. Its definitely not worth its money, but very attractive.
March 04, 2004
REAL NETWORKS was able to make success amidst its numerous internal challenges and external hardships. Its lawsuit against Microsoft is just one of its challanges. An article about Real's timeline of activities is available here. Its very inspiring to read such success stories amidst obstacles. According to critics, Real Networks hovered in the live-streaming technology and made an inaccurate oversight by underestimating the boom in digital music downloading and file-swapping industry. But however, it has learnt from its mistakes. Now, it is acting fast to capitalize on the expected boom for wireless markets in near future. According to the pundits, the mobile video market will be worth $5 billion a year by 2008. Real Networks partnered with nearly 26 mobile operators, mobile phone makers and vendors like sprint and AT&T.
February 29, 2004
I had a nice trip today with Rajesh anna's family to 'Inner-Space' (A cavern near Austin). On our way to the cavern, we visited JFK Assasination spot at Dallas Downtown, and had our lunch at the rest-area on the highway (I-35). The highway (I-35) runs north-south leading to most of the important cities in Texas. It took nearly 2.5 hours to reach the cavern named 'INNER SPACE'which is located 20 miles away from Austin. Let me quote a few words about Inner Space from its official website.
"Before its discovery, Inner Space cavern has been hidden for several thousand of years. Then in 1963, a construction crew from the Texas Highway Department found a large system of caves directly beneath the site of Texas' first Interstate Highway (I-35). Members of the crew were the first to enter into the unknown". The first captured photos are available here.
At the Innerspace, a guide came along with us and we all went in a group of nearly 12-15 persons. The cave is very well maintained and its an awesome sight. The limestone dripping from the ceiling and the big mass of snow-white crystal flowstone that covered the walls/ceiling looked splendid. We were not allowed to touch any of them except at 2 specific spots. Some areas had the stickiest kind of mud that u can ever imagine. However, we did not step on that.
It was 6:00 pm when we got into our car. We had our way straight to Starbucks to have coffee, and then to an outlet mall where I got myself a pair of Nike shoes. Then, we went to a mexican restaurant and I had a veggi-burrito. It tasted too good... I reached home at 10:30 pm and I at once switched on my laptop to update my blogsite. Well... thats all for now and I had a grt time for the day.
February 28, 2004
I attended a seminar today morning and it was all about 'Career in Telecom'. The guest speakers were the representatives from 5 different companies (Fujitsu, MCI, Nortel Networks, SBC Telecom and Texas Instruments). It was an informative session where each of them talked briefly about how they managed to go up their career ladder and spoke a few words about their company. The colloquium was primarily dominated by question-answer session and it was indeed very informative... The answers given by these people in the I.T/Telecom industry clarified most of the doubts that had been lingering in my mind for a long time. Well... I shall briefly write abt a few good qts and the corresponding answers given by the guests.
What do the employers look in a person (applicant) for recruitment?
In addition to the necessary technical and marketable skills that most of the applicants possess, we would look out for leadership qualities, ability to work in teams, communication skills and the enthusiasm in the applicant. These were the qualities stressed on by all the 5 guest speakers. (Well... I would like to add on to the list a few more that I learnt from other seminars. They include the ability to make quick & right decisions and willingness to learn more. These are in addition to the work experience in the related field, which forms a major factor for recruitment.)
What are the opportunities to Freshers in a sloppy economy and a hard-to-find job-scenario like the one we have now?
The opportunities to fresh graduate passed-out students is very meek. (I was surprised to hear such frank and explicit opinions...)
What to focus on...? Whether to be a jack of all trades in order to have a broader scope for job [OR] be an expert in few specific trades and try chances with a limited scope for a job?
Be an expert in specific field of your interest and have knowledge on (i.e be good at) all the related ones to that field. For example, a programmer may be an expert in all flavors of Java, however he must be good at programming in C,C++, .NET C#, etc... This may increase his job opportunities and may also enhance his chances to get high in his specialized field of work.
Do the companies prefer not to opt for a H1-B visa applicant...?
With off-shoring being the practice, intake of new passed-out international graduate students under H1-B visa is not prefered by most companies in today's job-market scenario. So, it is becomming very hard for international students to find a job and eventually a career in US soon after completing their education.
Outsourcing - What is the future?
Off-shoring and Outsourcing will carry on and will infact increase in the upcoming years. This will further damage the job-market scenario in USA. The companies have been attracted to get on to off-shoring in order to cut down costs and increase productivity around the globe. I also learnt that Nortel Networks were running at loss for the past 6 years earlier to the year 2003. It was only in 2003 that they saw profits, and hence they celebrated by giving away bonus and hike in salary to its employees. This was possible only becos of off-sourcing. So... its very clear that more companies will follow the same strategy (out-sourcing and off-shoring) to make profits.
M.S vs M.B.A... Which is better? Do we need to take up both degrees to get high on career ladder?
It is the self-interest and personal choice that should guide the person on which path to take. But, getting a dual degree is obviously an asset to your career.
Well... There are many more questions, but only the ones above caught my attention...
Today, I got my tickets (Lufthansa airlines) to India. Hmmm... 2 more months before I can have my first trip to my motherland from USA.
I just found a bathroom shower for a price of $1,20,000. It is the SilverTag shower that uses various hydrotherapy techniques by varying water temperature and the pressure from the shower. It is said to be fully customised by the customer and it consists of a touch screen panel to select among the 6 shower frequencies, 18 shower heads and target 6 different zones of the body. Whatever may be the features of a shower, spending $1,20,000 is ridiculous. All that it can atmost do is to pour water on your body. It makes more sense to donate so much money to the poor and needy rather than to purchase it. May be the shower was designed only for the TOP 10 richest people in the world ~
February 25, 2004
An article in Computer world puts forward the need to balance speed and quality of the ongoing software projects. It was rightly said that the waterfall development model is too slow for today's need to develop instant solutions to rapidly changing specifications of the customer. To preserve the quality and long-term reputation, we need to device a standardised Rapid Application development model to speed up the development process. A framework based on the Rational Unified Process was reported to achieve a quality greater than CMM Level 5.
This approach will further improve the communication among the team members, customers, management personnel and the project managers using a common ground. "By shifting from the waterfall approach to the RAD technique, developers were delivering exactly what the businesses required, and there was no documentation hurdle between them" says Vanessa Beer, a Fujitsu consultant. This is a good technique rather than partially implementing the slow waterfall development model to quickly meet the deadlines.
February 14, 2004
May be once in a year, it snows in Dallas... and today is that day for the year 2004. For the first time, I touched and felt the snow, played with it, made a small snowman out of it and enjoyed my presence in the midst of it. Sushil (my room-mate), was the first one in my appt to find the snow falling outside. He called us at-once, and we all went around the campus to feel and play with snow. It was toooo good... Several photo snaps were taken and they have been uploaded to the web. Check out the link at the right column of this page "SPLENDID PHOTO SNAPS: UTD".
February 13, 2004
Many a times, I used to ponder abt how to mark my presence and how to stand out from the rest of the world. I came up with a maxim : "THINK beyond the boundaries, ACT against the convention, and QUESTION the obvious". I truely believe that this is the underlying principle over which I should lay my focus on. The above maxim says just one thing: BE DIFFERENT (and hence BE YOURSELF). Let us all not go blindly at the conventional methods of doing things. Let us innovate new lifestyles, new trends, new business principles, new ways of expressing love & affection, new ways of flattering people, new marketing tricks, new administration strategies, .... and the list can go on~ Let us make our own road to live life... and once we show up results... May be, the world will consider our strategy as a new conventional way to live life in course of time.
Examples are numerous.... People who followed this kind of a strategy and tasted success through out their life are the ones who make history. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Dhirubai Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, ... and all the ones who have patents to their credit are the examples...
February 09, 2004
Today, I was gathering information about the cost of travel to-&-from India at various airlines. There is a $200 difference between the Singapore airlines and Lufthansa. I am trying to figure out which airline shall I go in for. The only drawback of Singapore airlines is that I need to spend nearly 10 hrs at Singapore airport.... Well ! I have to make quick decisions to get the tickets at their best price.
February 07, 2004
Yday, I had my way to the the SSN office to submit an application for name-correction in my SSN card. Dart public transport did the service again... I had to spend nearly 2 hrs travelling and so, I took my MP3 player with me just to kill time... I was listening to pretty old (but good) stuff that include the ones by Backstreet boys, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson,... and all the big names. I was also trying to play a trick to make my time interesting. The trick is the same old one which we all know and have read in many many books. It is just observing everything that I could see and gather insights or make judgements. So, I started looking out of the window and tried to observe the buildings, people and cars on my way.
When I was looking at the interiors of the bus, a poster which contained a poem caught my eyes. It reads as follows...
My heart is like a singing bird
whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
whose boughs are bent with thick fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
that paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
because my love has come to me.
Well... this is a good poem and reminded me of many romantic movies and novels. This is all inside the bus; and I could find nothing very interesting in the train. Out of the window, I could find many companies and hence, I started making track of all I.T companies that I passed by. Some included HBS Systems, Sonus Networks, Nortell, Collins and Raddison at my neighborhood. There are a few big ones which I was looking out for, but they did not come on my way.
At the SSN office, I had to wait in the long queue before I got my work done. Small kids were running all over the place catching each other. They were one of those games that I played in my school days. After I came home, I had my lunch and soon, I went out to catch a bus to Walmart. It was 5:30 in the evening when I reached home and I was tired and very sleepy by then ~
Well.... I am not talking abt the infrastructural differences and the materialistic pleasures. I am basically talking abt the people and their behavior in the 2 countries. India has so much diversity that it could not be counted as one. I had the chance to know abt North Indians since my room-mate is from Haryana. He tells a lot abt N.India , their people and explains how they celebrate the typical N.Indian festivals such as Holy at their home-town. We also tell him a lot abt South India.
Same is the case with America as well. The people and their habits are also very diversified and it is hard for me to generalize them. But anyway, they all have few things in common. They all love solitude, greeting at people(including strangers) when they come across each other, and be fond of music. I could find many who could not kill time with out a CD player/walkman. Well... we cannot find any of these characteristics in people of India. The Americans also do things explicitly (not shy), be outspoken (frank) and not be very bothered abt what his neighbour might think of him. This is also something that we dont see in India. Indian culture is more of a society-centric one.
February 04, 2004
There is a very famous adage in sanskrit - "Maatha, Pitha, Guru, Deywam" whose intended meaning is always misunderstood by most of the people using it. I am fortunate to be among the few ones who know its real meaning. The wrong and the most obvious meaning is that the mother (Maatha) is given first importance, then father (Pitha), then master (Guru) and finally is the god (Deywam). But the intended message in the adage is nowhere near its obvious meaning. The real meaning is as follows:
'When a child is born, it only knows who its mother is. The mother will show the child who its father is. The father in turn takes the child to a master (guru). It is the guru alone who can show the child who and where the GOD (Deywam) is.' So... This adage higlights the principle role of each person / character in a child's life who enable him to find the ultimate truth (GOD).
February 02, 2004
The Year 2003 marked few bookmarks in my life and things went as I wanted them to get going... I got my under-grad degree, admission to UTD, visa to US and experienced every moment of life. I further experienced the cultural differences here in US, experimented with solitude, managed things all by myself and this elevated my confidence level, gained valuable expertise in various programming languages and made many new friends at UTD. To add more to the list, I made a framework for my career from all the advices that I recieved from Rajesh anna. For now, I am just awaiting for an oncampus job... may be it is in store for me in the year 2004.
Much awaited bookmarks are yet to come in the year 2004. Some of them include getting my first job (oncampus ofcourse), my first trip to India from US, and visiting various places in US during vacations. With my under-grad friends with me now, I am getting more comfortable with my living place. I just feel like thanking god a million times for what ever he has done. Anyway, I firmly believe that anything that happens is for my own good and find every reason to thank god.
February 01, 2004
This is a story to describe the importance of .... (Read it). There once lived a king who ruled the entire world. One day, he wanted to honour the person who is responsible for all the wealth and prosperity of his kingdom. His ministers gave him a list of names-of-persons, because of whom his kingdom is safe, prosperous and blissful. The list included the Senathapathi (Militrary Head) who is responsible for protection of the kingdom, the administration head, the home minister, the finance minister, the Chief Business Men, and the list went on.... The king was confused of who is the greatest one in the list. So, the king requested every one in the list to come & meet him at the same time.
When everyone assembled at the king's court, the mantri (King's P.A) remarked to the king that there is one man who is far superior to all the people who have assembled infront of him. The king at once asked the mantri to get that person to the court. The mantri brought along with him an elderly person with a walking stick, impaired hearing, blurred eyesight and few teeth missing. When the person entered the king's court, all the great men who had assembled there got up from their seats and showed respect to this elderly person. The king was astonished to find everyone giving their atmost respect to that person. Now, the mantri stated that this elderly person is the Guru (Master) who taught all the great people as how to become great in their own fields of interest. The Guru was at once honoured and the story ended....
Now, u know on whom the story emphasises on... Never forget to remember that person !
Good Blogging stuff at Cerebral Shangrilla. His recent blogs were very interesting and informative. They include a short note on Gandhiji's principles, Abdul Kalam's speech on the Republic day, a short-list of 25 most influential Business persons in the past 25 years, an inspiring story from the 3rd Edition of "Chicken Soup for the soul" and some more interesting stuff... Do check it out. Dont forget to check out the speech by our beloved president. It is indeed the highlighted one ...
January 31, 2004
Y'day, my friend Naveen was showing me his photo-shots at New Jersy, New York, Connecticut, and some other nice spots visited during his winter break... They were awesome! He is a doubtlessly a very good photographer and his snaps proved his interest in photography. His photo snaps were taken from his digi cam (SONY 5.0 Mega pixel) and he stored all of them in a CD. I was greatly impressed looking at these snaps on a full-screen slide-show. He covered some rare scenic beauties, beaches, sunrays reflected from sea water, WTC landmark, view inside a periscope of a submarine and several good stunts. I was very inspired to make the best use of my holidays tooooo and click at some equally good scenaries. Great work Naveen...!
January 30, 2004
Today, I went to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) to get my Instructional Permit... But, I could not complete the process since my name on the SSN card and the one in my visa did not match (just an inter-change of my first name with my middle name). Ooops ! I need to go to the SSN office and get my name corrected on the card. That may take a few weeks before I get my new SSN card. Hmmm! Got to wait for nearly a month to get my I.P. Well... this is little frustrating.
January 24, 2004
Y'day, I made the best use of the day (lot of study for the day and a movie for the night)... At the night, I happened to watch Sharukh's latest movie "Kal ho na ho" in my laptop, sitting at my home. It had a blend of comedy and emotions through out the movie. It was touchy and Shahrukh was at his best (simply great !). It was after a long time that I watched a movie that triggered my emotions. Cool ~ anyway !
January 23, 2004
I tried my best to get an oncampus job at the start of this semester... but my efforts were just in vain. Anyway, its all luck-based and there is very little that we could do abt it. Never mind ! There is always a next time~ At the beggining, I felt frustrated and annoyed... but may be its all for my good. I started off with my assignments this week and shall learn Oracle from the mid of next month. The 2 pre-requisite classes are cool, demanding not much from me. The core course (Algorithms) is loaded with math, but appears interesting. Today, I started getting serious with my studies, prepared my plans for the next month, and also made up my mind to execute these plans without change.
Yesterday... There was a lot of fun at the 'Student Union'. Many kinds of cookies, creamless cakes and pizzas were on display. We had unlimited number of cookies followed by coke/pepsi cans. It was fun altogether.
January 20, 2004
Check this site : http://americandreams.msn.com/. It is damn good ! It is a list of Dream cars/technologies/vacation spots/ ...
January 12, 2004
As I was browsing, I came across very useful links in 'Computer World' portal.
What Makes a Leader
IT leaders embody a nebulous combination of strength and compassion, technical know-how and business savvy. These men and women capture the essence of 10 key leadership characteristics. Here's how they've used those abilities to succeed.
Understanding - Jeffery C. Almoney
Advocacy - Sanjiv Anand
Creativity - Ronald Calderone
Passion - Patricia Coffey
Candor - Randy Cowen
Influence - Dennis Fishback
Inspiration - Evon L. Jones
Drive - Madge M. Meyer
Innovation - Daniel Morreale
Determination - Keith Morrow
January 11, 2004
My hols are coming to an end with classes starting from tommorow... My class hours are in the morning on Mondays & Wednesdays, and in the evening on Tue & Thu. I am happy with the way I spent my vacation... I had a mix of entertainment, relaxation, study, research, and a lot of fun. My routine starts right from tommorow morn.
January 09, 2004
Today, I happened to read Darwin's observation about the evolution of species... It was so well stated, that it could be considered as the key aspect for survival of the fittest. The observation reads "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change". This is the quote which exactly applies to the current competative world in which, even the top companies die and are replaced by newcomers every few decades. Last week, I had come across several articles related to CEOs and their business tactics in today's hiebernate industry. One of them in 'MIT's Technological review' stated "A set of practices called Corporate Venturing would rejuvenate big companies". It listed 3 forms of venturing programs that create the core idea of Corporate Venturing. They are Alliances, Internal Venturing Programs and Corporate Venture Capital.
INTEL now follows this tactic to enhance its chipset sales. It has created a $200 million Venture Capital fund to invest in novice and small companies that specialize in technology for home appliances.
Another article in http://www.strategy-business.com/enewsarticle/enews010804
speaks about a novel approach that combines the classic values of discipline, focus and execution with the modern values of openness and casual work environment. Many executives discovered that innovation cannot be brought to the surface in the guidance of restless & short-tempered leaders. It is only the creative free spirits guided by discipline & purpose bring colourful results. The key personality of a leader is to be sober. The article states as follows... "Sober is the one who sees things as they really are, not as he would like them to be." These are great tips to managers, CEOs and even for ordinary people aspiring to become leaders.
January 03, 2004
You could have hardly found me at my appartment for the whole of last week. I spent my days at Rajesh anna's home during the christmas and the day before that... On December 29th, my friend Vinodh had his foot on the US soil... I stayed along with him at his sister's residence for the next 2 days. I also had a good start for the new year. On Jan 1st, we went to a temple at Irving (near Dallas) in the morn... and I had dinner at my brother's home later in the evening. Ajit (my friend in TAMU) came to Dallas on the next day and so, we planned to spend this weekend with Vinodh at his sister's home. Now, I am watching some good movies during my stay here and time is going on great...
January 02, 2004
My graduate study at Univ of Texas at Dallas (USA) teaches me far more than mere academics. Every programming project involved in my course-work makes me think hard, and puts me in a simulated work-environment with milestones and deadlines. I had to dwell on the programming logic, project design, and coding patterns & techniques. Meanwhile, I am keeping an eye on the global scenario for the I.T industry, getting first-hand Tech news from my newsletters, and observing the activities of the I.T Big-shots. I am as well in the process of learning the marketable skills which include the most prominent languages such as J2EE, and .NET C#. I would like to take up certification for Java and CCNA during my Summer.
The various career seminars that I attended gave me an insight into how to shape my career to achieve my goals. Further on being away from my parents, I had to take care of my bank transactions and expenditures. Handling money is always an interesting job - It gives freedom in the midst of responsibility. There is yet another valuable feeling that some may miss out while in India. It is the gift of experiencing the solitude, which itself is a nice feeling... creative ideas & wholesome thoughts are triggered all of a sudden while being in solitude. It is so much that I have learnt in the past 4 months... and lots more to be learnt in the next 2 years of my M.S degree. Doubtlessly, it is my golden period of learning...
I could clearly make out one inference about the I.T industry in US from the insight that I gained from the technical reviews and some economy-forecast pandits. The Economy in US is rising like a sun at dawn... But the job market is having its bad days. This is a weird scenario that nobody could have expected 5 years ago. It was a general assumption that Economy of a nation is directly proportional to the job scenario in that nation. But here is an odd scene in US, where economy is climbing up the ladder, while jobs are being offshored (exported) to countries like India. Thats a great news to INDIA, but at the cost of salary cut-offs and job lay-outs in US. I am not just talking about the IT industry alone. The offshoring has taken its place strong enough in all other industries such as customer-call centres, medical transcriptions, etc... Altogether, it is an odd scenario displayed in US. This very clear from the year end news which is stated as:
1. Jobless claims fall to nearly 3-year low.
2. The year 2003 has been stock market's first winning year since 1999.
What more evidence do we need for oddity.